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Edward Lasker vs Jose Raul Capablanca
New York (1924)  ·  Modern Defense: King Pawn Fianchetto (B06)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-03-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Wow. It was big enough news when Capablanca lost to Reti in this tournament, but to get blown out by Edward Lasker, of all people, would have been a major sensation. Yet after 22 Bc5 (instead of Bb4??) black's position looks hopeless. Lasker must have been in horrific time pressure to blow this one.
Apr-03-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Evidently, Lasker thought Bb4? and Bc3 would trap the rook. 22.Bc5 is good, but would say White has the advantage but not a won position. The real blunder is 44.Ke2?? when Rh6+ draws (Alekhine)
Apr-03-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Calli> Perhaps you are somewhat harsh with Edward Lasker? <44.Ke2> looks natural, and the draw with <44.Rh6> is not so straightforward:

<44.Rh6+!> Kf5 (alternatives listed as (i) and (ii)) 45.f3 Ng3+ 46.Kf2 Rxb2+ 47.Kg1 Rb1.

(i)44...Kf7 45.f3 Ng3+ 46.Kf2 Rxb2+ 47.Kg1 Ne2+ 48.Kf1 Nxd4 49.Bc3 Rb1+ 50.Kf2 Ne6 51.b4 = ;

(ii)44...Ke7 45.Rh7+ Ke6 46.Rh6+ Kf7 47.f3 (47.Rxa6? f3 48.Ra7+ Ke6 wins) 47...Ng3+ 48.Kf2 Rxb2+ 49.Kg1 Ne2+ 50.Kf1 Nxd4 51.Bc3 =.

Apr-03-05  RookFile: What I find humorous about this
game is Alekhine's comments
about 1. e4 g6. You would think
that 1..... g6 is a blunder, and
that Edward Lasker missed a
simple win with 2. d4 instead
of 2. Nf3.

Too funny.

Apr-03-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Ke2?? losing the piece can't be natural! Alekhine gives 44.Rh6+ Kf5! 45.f3 Ng3+ 46.Kg2! The point being a mate threat with h4, Rf6# and 46...Rxe1? 47.Rf6+ Kg5 48.h4+! Kh5 49.Rxf4
Aug-02-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: I fed the position after 22.Bc5 into Crafty, which evaluated it as being 1.10 pawns in white's favor. A winning advantage for white, although calling black's position "hopeless" was an exaggeration.

depth=19 1/27 +1.10 22. ... Rc6 23. b4 Bh6 24. h4 Nf4 25. Nxf4 Bxf4 26. Ra5 Rec8 27. g3 Bh6 28. Raa1 b6 29. Bd6 b5 30. Ng5 Bxg5 31. hxg5 Rc2 32. Rxa6 Rxb2 Nodes: 3020991091 NPS: 500001
Time: 01:40:41.97

Aug-02-05  who: This game is truly weird. What is the classically minded Capablanca doing playing a Robatsch?!
Aug-02-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: This game was played near the end of the New York 1924 tournament, when Capablanca had essentially clinched second place but needed to win every remaining game to have any chance at first. Apparently he thought that the Robatsch was a good choice when you wanted to go all out for a win with black.
Nov-22-06  RookFile: <who: This game is truly weird. What is the classically minded Capablanca doing playing a Robatsch?!>

Capa wanted to win this in the worst way. I'm sure he thought something in Edward Lasker's repetoire would be too drawish if Capa played the lines he normally does.

Oct-02-08  GrenfellHunt: Capablanca would sometimes break out of standard lines in order to catch his opponent off guard--it looks like that was his strategy for beating Ed Lasker in this crucial game.

Note that Capa clearly liked the Dragaon bishop at g7, pawn at c5, and Queen on the wing: a nice attacking formation.

The endgame combination beginning with 40...Rxe1+! is a Capablanca classic: the Rook slams down hard on the first rank, pinning the bishop against the king, and crippling Lasker's endgame.

Oct-02-08  Emma: Capablanca plays the Modern Defence in 1924, I like it!
Nov-25-11  AnalyzeThis: Well, 5.... Qb6 can't be right. Emanuel Lasker would never have made this move.
Nov-26-11  King Death: < RookFile: What I find humorous about this game is Alekhine's comments
about 1. e4 g6. You would think
that 1..... g6 is a blunder, and
that Edward Lasker missed a
simple win with 2. d4 instead
of 2. Nf3.>

Alekhine and Fred Reinfeld must have spun in their graves by 1980 or so, when there were actually whole books written about this "joke opening".

Nov-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: This is Capablanca trying to do a Morozevich. With a classical Ruy, Edward Lasker as white could have easily steered the game into drawish lines.
Nov-26-11  AnalyzeThis: Well, the Caro-Kann would be a good choice, it gives an unblanced pawn structure. That's all a guy like Capa needs to go to work.
Nov-26-11  King Death: < AnalyzeThis: Well, 5.... Qb6 can't be right. Emanuel Lasker would never have made this move.>

One of Emanuel Lasker's strengths was being able to make a concrete and original appraisal of a position. IMO, it's a stretch to say that he would "never" have played 5...Qb6.

Nov-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 5...Qb6 is a reasonable enough move, inhibiting White's intended d4. Opening Explorer Incidentally, the game by that point had transposed to a weird sort of Alapin Sicilian.
Nov-11-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  BU51DAD: I like 22..Rc2
It looks so wrong, it looks dead, but just sits there and and I'm sure at some point Lasker was sitting there just wanting it to evaporate or something.
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